CUSTER COUNTY BIOGRAPHIES
Edmond Haumont, a prominent and successful farmer and stockman of Custer county, is a native of Belgium, born March 9, 1858, the second born of the six children of Joseph and Marian (Howlet) Haumont. Both parents are deceased, the father passing away in January, 1872, and the mother in October, 1899. Mr. Haumont lived in his native country until coming to America in the spring of 1877, when he came direct to the neighborhood of Wood river, Hall county, Nebraska, where he joined his brother, Jules, a sketch or whom also appears in this work.
In the fall of 1877, Mr. Haumont went into Iowa, and worked in the coal mines at Moingona and also near Des Moines. He worked for a time on the Northwestern railroad, and in the fall of 1879, returned to Hall county, and went on to Custer County, taking a homestead on the northeast quarter of section three, township eighteen, range nineteen, but he and his family now reside on his wife's tree claim on the southeast quarter of section thirty-four, township seventeen, range nineteen. He was married in Grand Island, September 15, 1879, to Mary Severyns, and in the following spring (March 27) came to his homestead in Custer county.
Joseph Severyns came to America in April, 1875, and in July of that year he was joined at Moingona, Iowa, by Tom Severyns, Mary Severyns and Jules Haumont, who had just reached America. Joseph and Tom Severyns came to the Wood river district, in Hall county, in 1875, and took up timber claims, returning to Iowa to work in the mines and on the railroad. In 1879, Joseph, Tom and Mary Severyns came to Custer county, and took homesteads, Mary securing a timber claim as well. When they came to Custer county, Jules and Edmond Haumont came with them, the journey being made with a covered wagon, and they were the first settlers on the tableland just off Clear creek valley. Tom Severyns returned to Belgium in 1886, and still resides there. Joseph Severyns lived in Custer county until 1893, then moved to California, where his death occurred in April, 1901.
Mrs. Edmond Haumont proved up on her homestead, and (as mentioned above) Mr. and Mrs. Haumont, with their family, live on her timber claim. Mrs. Haumont is a woman of strength of character and determination, and is a pioneer settler of the county. Mr. Haumont was appointed postmaster of the post-office at Elton, October 10, 1881, being sworn in by County Judge Armour, and holding office until April, 1899. The present incumbent is Albert Kleeb, who married a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Haumont. Both Mr. Haumont and his wife passed through the severe trials and hardships of pioneer life, and well remember the days when grain was sometimes ground in a coffee mill to make bread for the family. They lived some time in a sod shanty, and had to pass through years when the crops were ruined by drouth or a scourge of grasshoppers, but have been triumphant over all difficulties, and have come to a time of prosperity and success. They have twelve hundred acres of choice land, with a fine home and comfortable surroundings. The family have been prominent and progressive along educational lines and the general progress of Custer county, and are well known for their public spirit.
Mr. Haumont and wife have had three children of whom but two survive: Paul J. and Sylvia. The former was born on the homestead in 1880, lives in Custer county, and was married to Eva Bokingharn, and, they have three children. Sylvia was born on the homestead farm, October 10, 1882, is now the wife of Albert Kleeb, postmaster at Elton, and they live on the original Joseph Severyns homestead. Mr. and Mrs. Kleeb have three children.
Jules Haumont, the present postmaster of Broken Bow, is one of the old settlers of Custer county, and has passed through the various experiences and trials incident to life in a new country, from the time he erected a sod shanty on his homestead to the present time, when he is owner of a fine, modern residence in the city. He, has been identified with many different interests, and is a self-made man, well known in financial circles as a man of proven integrity and business ability. He is a native of Belgium, born November 3, 1856, the eldest child of Joseph and Marian (Howlet) Haumont, who had three sons and three daughters. The parents were also natives of that country, where their deaths occurred, the father passing away in January, 1872, and the mother in October, 1898, The son, Edmond, came to Amrica [sic] in the spring of 1877, and joined his brother, Jules, at Wood River, Nebraska, and they came on to Custer county with a team and covered wagon. Another son, Louis Haumont, came to America in 1883, joining his brothers in Custer county, where he also became a homesteader.
Jules Haumont received his education in his native country, and remained with his parents until July 7, 1875, when he sailed for America, landing in Philadelphia, July 25, 1875, and proceeding from there to Carroll, Iowa, where he found employment on the Northwestern railroad. Later he went to Moingona, Iowa, and worked in the coal mines. In the spring of 1879, in company with Joe and Mary Severyns (sister and brother), Mr. Haumont came by team to Hall county, Nebraska, stopping in the Wood river district, and in the fall of the year, he came on to Custer county, and secured a homestead on the northwest quarter of section thirty-four township eighteen, range nineteen, in September of that year. He was one of the original homesteaders on the tableland in Clear creek valley, and was at that time the only settler in that part of the county, with the exception of a few who had located in Round valley. He lived on that place until the spring of 1904, developing it into a high state of productiveness.
In the fall of 1903, Mr. Haumont was elected county assessor for a term of four years, and after serving his term, entered the Security State Bank of Broken Bow, of which he has been vice president since its organization. In June, 1908, he received the appointment of postmaster of Broken Bow, and left his work in the bank to assume his new duties. He assisted in organizing Berwyn, State Bank in 1907, and was its first president, but resigned this office upon his present appointment. He is a republican in political views, and has in former years served on the county board and in various township offices. He has been deeply interested in educational matters, and for the past six years has been a member of the school board of the city, being its vice president at the present time.
When Mr. Haumont first came to the county, Grand Island was his nearest trading point, and he relates how he and his brother, after building up their "soddy," prepared to put up their cook stove, which they had brought with them, had to put up a sod foundation about five feet high to bring the stove high enough so their pipe would reach through the roof, as pipe was then so high they had purchased but a few lengths. He has passed through many interesting experiences during his residence in Nebraska, and has always made the best of conditions, and adapted himself to circumstances in a manner to insure his ultimate success.
Mr. Haumont was married in Broken Bow, May 16, 1889, to Mary Frischkorn, the ceremony being performed by the pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church. She is a daughter of Adam and Christina Frischkorn, natives of Germany, but early settlers of Custer county. Mrs. Haumont was born in Pennsylvania. The church known as Wesley Chapel, near Weissert postoffice, was the first building in Custer county used exclusively for religious purposes, being a sod edifice, but much admired in early days by those who had built it. Mrs. Haumont was one of those who helped in the organization of the church society, and she and her husband have always been prominent in religious, educational and social circles. They have four children: Christina Julia, wife of Edwin Myers, of Broken Bow; Mamie Ellen, Frank Joseph, and Edith Lucille, at home. The children were all born on the homestead farm.
Frank S. HAYS,
Frank S. Hays owns a well equipped and splendidly improved stock and grain farm in Custer county, which has been his home for nearly twenty-five years. He is a successful and progressive farmer, actively interested in the general welfare of his county and state, and highly respected as a citizen. He is a native of McLean county, Illinois, and the youngest child of Henry and Almarine (Rayborn) Hays. He has a brother, Marion G., in Custer county. The father was horn in Virginia, of Irish descent, and the mother was a native of Kentucky. Both died in McLean county, the former in 1860, and the later in November, 1906.
Mr. Hays reached manhood in Illinois and was educated in the public schols [sic], after which he engaged in farming on his own account. In 1875 he went to California and worked at farming near San Jose, until 1879, when he returned to Illinois. He again secured work in San Jose, California, in the winter of 1880 and spent two years there, after which he spent several years traveling through many of the western states and engaging in various projects. He was married in McLean county, Illinois, at the Dawson home, August 7, 1884, to Miss Minie A. Dawson, a native of Illinois and daughter of J. Marion and Melinda F. (Props) Dawson, the former a native of Illinois and the latter born in Virginia. The father lives in Nevada, Iowa, the mother died in that state in July, 1896. Mrs. Hayes has three brothers and one sister in Iowa; two sisters and one brother in Illinois, and one sister, Mrs. Orrin Campbell in Dawson county, Nebraska.
Mr. and Mrs. Hays made their home in Illinois for two years and in February, 1888, came with their only child, a daughter, to Custer county, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section twenty-eight, township seventeen, range eighteen, which has since been the home place. He now has a well improved and equipped stock and grain farm and is an energetic and successful farmer. He has served as treasurer of school district number four the past fifteen years, and for the past five years ling been treasurer of the Odd Fellows lodge at Westerville.
Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mr. Hays, viz: Lida Constance, at home; Jessie A., a student in a commercial college at Broken Bow; Byron G., a student at Broken Bow; Marion P., Loren H., Hazel M., W. Harold and Marie F., at home.
Mr. Hays is one of Custer county's early settler and owns several valuable pieces of property. He and his wife have passed through the years of trials and privations incident to pioneer life and are well and favorably known in the region. They have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances and are rearing a fine family to do them honor.
Mrs. Hays and a neighbor, Mrs. Baker, were at the sale at Mr. Hickenbottom's the day of the well known blizzard of January 12, 1888, and, facing the storm, drove home through the blinding frozen mist, a feat few men accomplished for even half that distance. To Mrs. Hays fell the task of driving, and she reached home thoronghly chilled but uninjured.
In politics Mr. Hays is a democrat and is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Marion G. HAYS
Among the natives of Illinois who have located in Nebraska and become prominent in the upbuilding and development of the latter state may be mentioned Marion G. Hays, of Custer county, a self-made man, who came to the state without capital and has won a high degree of success. He was born in Lexington, McLean county, Illinois, August 25, 1850, the elder of the two sons of Henry and Almarine (Henline) Hays, the father a native of Virginia and the mother, of Kentucky. His brother, Frank S., came to Custer county about 1890 and lives on a farm which he owns. Marion G. Hays was reared on an Illinois farm, where he resided until coming to Custer county in 1883. He has been practically winning his own way in the world since his fourteenth year, as his father died when he was about eight years of age. His mother, who remarried, died in Illinois in 1908, although for some years prior to her death she lived with her sons in Nebraska. She reached her eighty-sixth year.
On June 30, 1869, Mr. Hays was united in marriage with Miss Martha Bivens, of McLean county, daughter of William and Catherine (Wells) Bivens and second of their five children. In the fall of 1883 Mr. and Mrs. Hays, with their daughter, Esther and son Frank, came to Custer county and homesteaded on one hundred and eighty-nine acres of land on section five, township sixteen, range eighteen, and they are among the few of homesteaders who live on their farms thus gained. Mr. Hays is one of the pioneers of his part of the county and now has one of the best homes there. He has improved and developed his farm, equipping it with everything necessary to carry it on, successfully, and has been actively engaged in stock raising until a few years ago, when he retired from active life. He has won his success through the efforts of himself and wife and they have passed through the various phases of the history of their region. In early years he worked at freighting in order to support his family, making the trip between Westerville and Grand Island. On these journeys he carried a "grab box," which Mrs. Hays always filled with good, palatable food. Each freighter carried his own blankets and slept on the floor of the house at the end of the day's journey. They always cooked their own meals on their host's stove, the family remaining in bed until the freighters had eaten and gone. In Grand Island they slept in a hay mow and dined sumptuously at a restaurant.
Mr. Hays has been a member of the Masonic order since he reached his majority in Illinois, and transferred to Ansley on coming west. He is prominent in social and fraternal circles, being a member of the Royal Highlanders, as well as the Masonic order. In politics he is a democrat. But two children were born to Mr. Hays and wife; their daughter died in Broken Bow, April 8, 1889, she at that time being a teacher in the public schools and a young woman of high character and refinement, who had many friends. The son, Frank M., has a fine farm consisting of a half-section of land adjoining his father's place on the south. He was born in McLean county and brought to Nebraska in childhood. He is a prominent farmer and stockman, as well as an enterprising and useful citizen. He was married at Westerville, Custer county, March 9, 1899, to Alice Baker, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thompson Baker, of Custer county, and their union has been blessed by three children: Harry, Vernon, and Esther.
Deer and antelope were plentiful in 1883 in the vicinity of Mr. Hays' farm. He killed three October 25 of that year; the snow being knee deep to a horse, it was easy to trail and bring down a deer, which were dragged home tied to the horses tails. Wolves were easily run down and killed when the snow was deep. January 12, 1888, the day of the blizzard, found Mr. Hays, like many others, on his way to a sale. When the storm broke he mounted his horse, stopped at the school house and instructed his children to remain in town, and let the faithful animal take him home, which it did at breakneck speed. With one eye covered with ice, the horse found the way through the blinding snow to the door of the barn, more by instinct than sight. In 1894, the dry year, only a few oats were harvested, which the hungry pigs devoured the day it was cut.
Mr. Hays and family lived in a dugout on their claim some ten years before building a large "soddy." Their stable, cow shed, hog house and other outbuildings were all built of sod, as well. A neat, frame cottage now replaces the primitive dwelling, and a big red barn has displaced the sod shed.
Walter M. HENDERSON,
Walter M. Henderson was one of the very early settlers of Custer county and a member of a pioneer family. During his early years there he had many trying experiences, and passed through the years of severe storms, and the years of drouth, when crops could not be raised. He is one of the few men to retain possession of their original homesteads, a man of forceful character, self-made in every way. He is a native of Harrison county, Missouri, born January 21, 1861, second of three children of John F. and Mary J. (Williams) Henderson. The father was born in Paterson, New Jersey, August 7, 1828, and the mother in Muskingum county, Ohio, February 14, 1831. They were married in Ohio and during their early married life removed to Iowa, and before 1861 had removed from Decatur county, Iowa, to Missouri. While their son, Walter, was still in his infancy they returned to Iowa, remaining there until about 1868, when they returned to Missouri. The father was a cooper by trade and these removals were made as his business prospects seemed to dictate. They lived in Missouri until November, 1877, at which time the father and mother, with their two sons, Walter M. and Franklin E., came with a team and wagon over the prairie schooner route to Lillian Creek, Custer county. The father secured a homestead on section thirteen, township nineteen, range twenty, which remained the home farm until the title was proved. The sons were also original homesteaders in Custer county.
On December 22, 1881, Walter M. Henderson was united in marriage, at New Helena, Custer county, with Emma G. Greenwood, daughter of George B. and Roenna Greenwood, of an early Nebraska family. Mr. and Mrs. Greenwood brought their family to the county in 1879. Mr. and Mrs. Henderson were married by Judge Matthews, of New Helena, the first justice of the peace of Custer county.
In 1882, Mr. Henderson filed in entry on the farm which has since remained the home place, on the southeast quarter of section thirty-two, township nineteen, range seventeen, and a timber claim of eighty acres in the same section, making two hundred and forty acres altogether. Mr. Henderson hauled logs for the first cabin north of the river, from Cedar canyon. He erected a house on the homestead for himself and one on the eighty-acre timber claim for his parents, where they remained until the death of the mother on December 29, 1887, after which the father came to live with his son, Walter M. The father was injured by a falling tree on February 27, 1879, losing his right arm and receiving injury to his hip, from which he never fully recovered.
In youth Mr. Henderson received a common school education, and early began to help with the work on his father's farm. From his eighteenth year he had the care and responsibility of his parents and faithfully performed these duties. In early days he freighted with an ox team from Lillian Creek to Grand Island and at times was on the road for ten days in making a round trip, camping out wherever night overtook him. At this time there was no house between what is now Walworth postoffice and the village of Comstock. He says the companions of these trips were Texas cattle, jack rabbits, coyotes, and the whisperings of the winds. He is one of the successful farmers of his part of the county and also has a creamery business at Comstock.
Mr. and Mrs. Henderson are the parents of four children, three of whom now survive: Walter L., married, and living five miles south of Comstock, has three children; the second child died in infancy; Elmer F., married and living on part of the old homestead, has two children; and Ethel Belle, at home. All were born on the home farm, and educated in the local schools.
Wm. T. HICKENBOTTOM
William T. Hickenbottom has been a resident of Nebraska since 1873, and during that period has witnessed the wonderful changes and development of the state. He passed through all the trying incidents and privations of pioneer existence, and has always been identified with the best interests of his state. He was born in Jefferson county, Iowa, April 2, 1851, the third child of Stephen and Caroline (Taylor) Hickenbottom, who were parents of four sons and eight daughters. The father was a farmer and stock raiser, and Mr. Hickenbottom was reared on a farm. His parents are now deceased, his mother having died at his home January 30, 1911. His brothers, James and Rollo, live in Custer county, where they are prominent as farmers and stockmen, and three of his sisters, Mrs. Sarah Moore, Mrs. Chris Jensen, and Mrs. Jane Eastman, live in Custer county. Two sisters live in Fairfield, Iowa, one in Washington, and one in Oregon.
In February, 1873, William T. Hickenbottom left his home in Jefferson county, Iowa, and came by horseback on the "overland trail" to York county, Nebraska, taking a homestead five miles west of the town of York, which was his home for nine years. He was one of the early settlers of that county and passed through the trying siege of the grasshoppers and other tribulations of pioneer life. He was there married to Ellen J. Doud, and of this union three children were born: James W., Rose Ann, and one child, who died in infancy. In 1882 Mr. Hickenbottom came with his wife and two children to Custer county, and he took a pre-emption and timber claim, building his home on the former, which was located on section six, township sixteen, range seventeen, which remained the home place until he came to his present home in Broken Bow, in September, 1909. Mrs. Hickenbottom died on the home farm in 1885, survived by her husband and two children.
On January 15, 1889, Mr. Hickenbottom was married in Jefferson county, Iowa, to Ellen May Griffith, a native of Iowa, and in the spring of 1889 they came to their Custer county home. They have had four children, of whom three survived: Carrie, Abbie, and Leota, at home. Mr. Hickenbottom's two oldest children, James W., and Rose Ann, by his first marriage, both live on the Kincaid homestead in Cherry county, Nebraska. He is married and has three children, and she is the wife of Durfee Hyatt, and has one child. Mr. Hickenbottom came first to Nebraska with a span of horses and little else besides a bridle and saddle, and through his own efforts has become one of the successful farmers and stock men of central Nebraska, owning over twelve hundred acres of well improved and developed land. Both he and his wife are well-known and popular in social circles and are highly regarded by their many friends. Mrs. Hickenbottom's parents, John and Sarah Griffith, reside in, Keokuk county, Iowa. Her sister, Mrs. Byron Brewer, lives in Rock county, Nebraska, and her brother, Emery Griffith, lives nine miles south of Broken Bow. She also has three brothers and one sister living in Iowa.
Rueben Isaac HOLEMAN
Reuben Isaac Holeman, an active and energetic citizen of Custer county, is successful as a farmer and is always ready to do his part in any measure for the advancement of his county or state. He was born near Roseville, Warren county, Illinois, September 1, 1872, seventh child of Reuben Allen and Emily (Day) Holeman, who had three sons and five daughters. He was born and reared on a farm, remaining in his native state until 1877, when he was taken to Nodaway county, Missouri, and in 1883 to Taylor county, Iowa. His brother, John, came from Iowa to Custer county, Nebraska, in 1890, and Reuben joined him in 1892.
Mr. Holeman's father was a native of Jackson county, Indiana, born December 19, 1840, and the mother was also a native of that county. They married in Warren county, Illinois, February 10, 1859. Mrs. Holeman died in Taylor county, Iowa, January 2, 1892, and Mr. Holeman came to Custer county, Nebraska, in 1904, to reside with his son, Reuben. He was eighteen years of age when he married, and his wife fourteen. Nine great grandchildren were born to them. Of their eight children six now survive: Loretta, wife of J. J. Strode, of Oklahoma, has one child; John, living near Maryville, Missouri, is married and has four children; Mary, wife of Axel Sherbeck, of Custer county, has six children: Myrta, wife of Will Raybourn, living near Arcadia, has three children; Maggie, wife of Robert Hyde, lives in Sterling, Illinois, and has one child, and Reuben I., of whom we write in this sketch.
Reuben I. Holeman has lived in Custer county since 1892 and is now a prosperous farmer and stockman. He lives on the south half of the southeast quarter of section five, township sixteen, range seventeen, and also owns eighty acres lying south in section eight. He devotes his land to grain and stock, his farm is well equipped, and he has a commodious and comfortable home.
Mr. Holeman was married March 20, 1895, to Ada Maria Marsh, who was born in England, their marriage being celebrated at Broken Bow, Nebraska, and four children have blessed their union: Emily Jane, Lewis Ray, Reuben Allen, junior, and Leo Herbert, all at home. Mr. Holeman is interested in public matters and is now serving as a member of the school board of district number thirty-eight. A democrat in politics, he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Modern Woodmen of America.
Edward C. HOUSE
Edward C. House has long been identified with the business life of Custer and adjoining counties, and is in touch with various real estate firms in other states. He was born on a farm near Portage, Wisconsin, June 28, 1858, ninth of the eleven children of James D. and Francis House, natives of England. He is the only one of the family living in Nebraska, although he has three brothers and four sisters now surviving. The parents came to the United States in 1848, bringing with them four sons and one daughter, six sons and four daughters being born to them in the United States. Two of the sons served in the civil war and one of them, John, was confined in Libby and Andersonville prisons.
In his seventeenth year, Mr. House left his Wisconsin home and went to Minnesota, going on to Dakota in 1881, and coming to Custer county, September 29, 1886. He had lost his father when he was six years of age and when twelve years old went out on a farm to work, at a wage of ten dollars a month, which he divided with his mother to help keep the family together, continuing this until he began learning the trade of saddler, in his seventeenth year. When twenty years old he engaged in the harness and saddlery business for himself in Herman, Grant county, Minnesota. During the winter of 1880-1, he went to Dakota, where he began soliciting fire insurance, with Sioux Falls as his headquarters. In 1886 he came to Broken Bow, Custer county, Nebraska, and engaged in the insurance and real estate business. He is the oldest active real estate dealer in Broken Bow, in point of years engaged in the business, and is widely known in that field. He has been active along all lines of progress and has served on the city council and in other public offices. He is a self-made man, having small opportunities in his youth to advance himself, as he could attend school only during the winter terms. He helped to care for his mother until her death, in 1884.
Mr. House was married in Broken Bow, July 2, 1890, to Susie I., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Cole. Her parents came from Illinois to Nebraska in 1888, and in 1899 moved to Boise, Idaho, where both died. Mr. and Mrs. House have two children, both born in Broken Bow: Delia and Nathaniel J.
Gardner Housel and wife are among the very earliest pioneers of central Nebraska and have been residents of Custer county since 1879, a period of more than thirty years. Mr. Housel was horn in New Jersey, September 18, 1847, fifth of the twelve children of Furman and Margaret (Carpenter) Housel. He has a brother, Phillip, in Hamilton county; a sister, Mrs. Sarah Beet, living in the same county; one brother in Colorado, one in Wisconsin and one in Washington city; others of the children are now deceased. Both parents were born in New Jersey and the mother was of German descent. The father died in Wisconsin in 1892 and the mother in 1895.
In early childhood Mr. Housel accompanied his parents to Dane county, Wisconsin, and there reached manhood, receiving his education in the country schools. He was reared on a farm and when he reached young manhood began farming on his own account. In the spring of 1870, he went to Nebraska in search of land on which he would care to settle, and homesteaded eighty acres between Sutton and Aurora, in Hamilton county, where he lived about nine years.
Mr. Housel was married in Otoe county, Nebraska, December 2, 1872, to Miss Jennie Cook, a native of New York City, who came with her parents, Lawson and Agnes (Jenkenson) Cook, to that county in 1857. Both parents were natives of Eggermount, Cumberland county, England, but did not know each other until meeting in New York. The mother was born in 1813 and came to America in 1838, and was running a small hotel. The father came about the same time, and a few years later was boarding at this hotel, and in 1841, married his hostess. Eight children have been born to Mr. Housel and wife, namely: Frank B, a farmer of Custer county, has four children; William A., a dentist of Ansley, also has four children; Charles Lawson, a physician of Ansley, has three children; Margaret A., wife of N. B. Sheldon, of Custer county, has two children; three daughters and one son are deceased.
Mr. and Mrs. Housel lived on the home place in Hamilton county until 1879, when they came to Custer county and purchased three hundred and twenty acres in section twenty-two, township fifteen, range eighteen, which has since been the home place. It is well improved and equipped with everything necessary to carry on successful grain and stock farming. Mr. Housel has set out nine acres with fruit trees, a source of much pleasure to the family. He makes a specialty of polled Angus cattle, which he has raised extensively for the past twenty-five years. He is a prosperous and successful business manager and owns eight hundred acres of land in one body. He is an enterprising and useful citizen, interested in the welfare and progress of the county and state. In an early clay he was instrumental in organizing a school district at his home in Hamilton county, and later performed the same valuable public service in Custer county, in both instances serving as a member of the school board.
Mr. and Mrs. Housel have passed through many varied phases in the history of Nebraska, and found it necessary to meet pioneer conditions and trials, Their first three years were spent in a dugout, and the frame house which succeeded it was the first of its kind in the county. The lumber was hauled from Kearney, fifty miles distant; thirteen trips being necessary for it and other supplies. Additions were added from time to time, and in 1912 a fine concrete block house was erected on the place. We are pleased to call attention to an engraving of all these on another page of this volume.
Mr. Housel killed many deer and buffalo, hunting in the main herd of them about Christmas in 1873. Grasshoppers destroyed his wheat and rye the following year, but the corn made a partial crop after the pests left. The blizzard of April 12 to 14, 1873, was disastrous to their stock. They had just bought some cattle from Mrs. Housel's home folk, and lost all but one cow and calf Mrs. Housel kept in the kitchen during the storm. The winter of the deep snow, 1880 and 1881, was severe on the settlers; the last snow of the season fell May 22, 1881. Mrs. Housel was herding their cattle on the prairies at the time and well remembers the circumstance. In the sudden and severe blizzard of January 12, 1888, Mr. Housel was returning with a load of straw; the wind was of such force that he got home with only the small amount on which he was lying. The two older boys were at school and remained at a neighbor's all night.
Mr. Housel is independent in politics, and with his family, is a member of the Christian church.
James Edwin HURLBURT
Although comparatively a young man, James Edwin Hurlburt is one of the earlier settlers of Custer county, and he is a citizen who is representative of the best interests of his community he belongs to a family that has passed through the early pioneer days of Nebraska, and he has a fine stock and grain farm in Custer county, which he operates with gratifying success. Mr. Hurthurt was born in McDonough county, Illinois, August 4, 1870, son of Allinson P. and Eunice (Robinson) Hurlburt, who were natives of Philadelphia and Ohio, respectively, he born in 1839 and she in 1832. They were married in Illinois about 1867, and had three children born in that state, James E. being one of a pair of twins. In 1875, the family moved to a farm near Nevinville, Adams county, Iowa, and in the early spring of 1883, they came by team to Blaine county, Nebraska, camping for three weeks along the way. Here they spent several years on a homestead, but in 1890, they removed to Custer county. The father died on his farm in February, 1903, and the mother died there, October 14, 1906, They were survived by their two sons, Samuel D. and James E. The former is married, and lives in Sherman county.
Mr. Hurlburt was educated in the country schools, and reared on a farm, and he took up a homestead in the east half of the northwest quarter of section thirteen, township seventeen, range eighteen, in the fall of 1891, this later being the home of his parents. He was married at Broken Bow, Custer county, November 28, 1892, to Miss Minnie M., daughter of David and Matilda (Casteel) Hutchens, who came from Cass county, Illinois, to Seward county, Nebraska, in 1880. The Hutches family spent one year in Seward and one year in Hamilton county before coming to Custer county, where they secured a homestead. The parents and the four surviving children now live in the state. Mrs. Hurlburt was one of seven children, but she and her sister, Mrs. Irving Sherbeck, are the only ones who live in Custer county. Three of the children are now deceased, two brothers, James and Eliphalet, live in McPherson county.
Six children have been born to Mr. Hurlburt and wife, as follows: Goldie, Ruby, Julia, Esther, Fannie and Edwin, all at home. Both Mr. Hurlburt and his wife are of pioneer stock, and are widely and favorably known in the county. They have a well-developed and equipped farm, and a comfortable farm home. In national elections he is republican, but locally is independent of party lines.
Mr. Hurlburt has had some experience as a hunter of big game, having killed eight deer in Blaine county. He has suffered from the drouth of 1894, and on the sixteenth of July, 1893, hail ruined his entire crop. But the hardships of the early days are but a memory, which success and prosperity are fast relegating to oblivion.
Contributed by, Michael Davis
FENSTERMACHER, CLARK HENRY
FENSTERMACHER, CLARK HENRY: Physician & Surgeon; b Marcellus, Mich Mar 2, 1878; s of Christian Alfred Fenstermacher-Margaret Hill; ed Marcellus & Three Rivers Mich: U of Louisville Ky, MD 1900; grad work 1915 U of Louisville; m Olive Griffith Nov 10, 1913 Sargent; s Robert C; d Inez Helene; 1900- phys & surg, Sargent; 1903 built P O bldg; 1914 estab new off bldg; 1902- CB&Q RR phys, Sargent; past mbr town bd 20 years; AF&AM; KP, Broken Bow; Meth Ch; hobbies, studying med, collecting Indian relics & guns; res Sargent.
Contributed by, Michael Davis
FENSTERMACHER, MRS RHODA OLIVE: Homemaker; b Callaway, Neb Feb 20, 1888; d of George Griffith- ___; ed Callaway; Fremont Bus Coll; m Clark H Fenstermacher Nov 10, 1913 Sargent; s Robert C; d Inez Helene; bkkpr & steno Broken Bow Bank; 1906-13 asst & cash Sargent State Bank; 1913 homemaker; Meth Ch; res Sargent.